Review | The Wolf and Peter: A super cool wolf lends some edge to the magic

Coiscéim’s new dance show takes Prokofiev’s classic into more modern territory with thrilling results

The Wolf and Peter

Town Hall Theatre, Galway


Coiscéim's new dance show is at once reassuringly traditional and startlingly modern. Inspired by Prokofiev's original composition, which blended music and text, it combines a new score by Conor Lenihan with David Bolger's choreography to create a different storytelling experience rooted in dance. Premiering at Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, it speaks to Prokofiev's original version while creating something magical of its own.


Ivonne Kalter makes for a puckish Peter, nimbly navigating an escape from his boredom in a nearby forest, brought vividly to life by Monica Frawley's glowing green columns and Sinead McKenna's radiant lighting design. Without human companions to play with, Peter befriends the animals he meets: Emma O'Kane's petulant pussycat, Jonathan Mitchell's plucky cockerel, and Wojciech Grudzinski's dawdling duck. Frawley's costumes are instrumental in defining the characters but the inventive and accessible choreography, and its embodiment by the dancers, plays just as important a role.

When the wolf arrives, he is not quite what we expected. He is slightly threatening, yes, but he is also super-cool, and Mateusz Szczerek’s body-popping break-dances add a welcome edge to the more abstract set-pieces. Peter finds the best way to tame him is to befriend him. It adds an extra moral dimension to the traditional tale.

The Wolf and Peter is funny, imaginative, and, finally, very moving. Contemporary dance can be a hard sell, particularly for family audiences, but Coiscéim's brilliant new piece deserves a wide audience of all ages.

At The Mac, Belfast, October 28-30, Draoicht, Blanchardstown, November 2 and Pavilion, Dún Laoghaire, November 5

Sara Keating

Sara Keating

Sara Keating, a contributor to The Irish Times, is an arts and features writer